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A Kindred Spirit:
Thoughts on winning, losing and playing the game

By Teresa Bell Kindred

Did your mom or grandmother ever say this to you...."It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game that counts."

Mine told me that consistently all my life but I'm not sure some people ever heard that statement and if they did, they didn't believe it.

The latest fiasco in the sports world comes from baseball and involves the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals. Basically it involved name calling, pushing, shoving, and kicking. I started to say this behavior sounds like a bunch of kids, but most kids I know are better behaved.

Yesterday I was cooking supper and ESPN was on (when is it NOT on at my house) and five or six sports announcers were discussing the brawl and giving their opinion as to what they thought should happen. Get this, several of them thought nothing should happen. That's right. The fighting was justified because tensions between the two teams were high, there was name calling, and then things got out of hand. In other words, it wasn't their fault.

Where were these sports announcers when my mom was using a switch on my behind because I bopped my little brother over the head? They could have explained to her that my little brother was verbally abusing me, tensions were high and I had the right to hit him over the head with a Tonka truck!

Don't get me wrong. I like winning as much as the next guy or gal. I live in Kentucky, for crying out loud, where UK basketball isn't just a game, it's a way of life. Never, ever make the statement "It's just a game," in a room full of UK fans unless you want to be lectured why that's not true.

By the way, today's story was about misbehavior on the baseball field but it happens in every sport at every level and it just seems to keep getting worse. This summer I was at a basketball scrimmage and two teams, their parents, and one of the coaches were involved in a fight. I can't say that I was an eye witness because I went to the bathroom and when I came back they were mopping up blood off the floor and the officials had called the game and sent both teams home.

I know that sports figures are only human and they make mistakes just like the rest of us but in my opinion when they make those mistakes they need to be responsible for them...just like the rest of us

My mom and grandmother would tell them that winning with dignity is just as important as losing with dignity and that it really does matter how you play the game. By the way, I agree.

This story was posted on 2010-08-15 08:05:32
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